“And the Lord was with Joseph. . .”

Genesis 39:2a

When this is a part of our faith’s “hub,” everything else falls into place.

Karl Barth, a famous German theologian of another generation, was once asked by a student, “Dr. Barth, what’s the greatest theological truth you’ve ever learned?”  Barth, who’d written numerous books and commentaries on the Bible, smiled, looked at the student, leaned over the top of his lectern as he peered over the top of his half-glasses and said, “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.”

Beautiful, simple, succinct truth, isn’t it?

Assuredly it is.

But, so is today’s Manna:  Simple, but vitally important to “the peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7).  Why is that?

For the simple reason that when we realize our omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God is also Immanuel (“God with us”—Is. 7:14), we “will fear no evil—for He is with us” (Ps. 23:4b).  How wonderful it is to know the same God Who watches over the sparrows (Mt. 6:26; 10:29, 31). . .knows the number of hairs on our head (Mt. 10:30). . .and “catches all of our tears in His bottle” (Ps. 56:8—KJV). . .will “never leave us or forsake us” (Heb. 13:5b). . .and is “the same yesterday, today and forever” (Heb. 13:8; James 1:17).  Hallelujah!!

The reason Joseph didn’t get bitter over being sold by his brothers (Gen. 37:1-36), falsely accused of attempted rape by Potiphar’s wife and imprisoned (Gen. 39:1-23) and forgotten “a full two years” by a fellow inmate whom he’d helped (Gen. 40:1-41:1a) was because “the Lord was with him.”

In reality, this is what’s meant when it said “And Enoch and Noah walked with God” (Gen. 5:22, 24; 6:9c).  It’s what Adam and Eve enjoyed when they fellowshipped with God “in the Garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).  It’s that “communion-union” which every believer can enjoy when we place our trust in Him and “abide in Him” (Jn. 15:1-7).

The Old Testament story is one of “progressive revelation” and “salvation history.”  In the early days He revealed Himself through manifestations in nature, visions, angelic visitations, prophets, etc.  But, the time came when He instructed Moses and the Israelites to build Him “a dwelling place” via the Tabernacle in the wilderness, which later became the Temple.

But, none of that could compare to that day “when the Word became flesh and dwelt (Grk. ‘skenoo’—‘to pitch a tent, tabernacle, live with, etc.’) among us” (Jn. 1:14).  And, after He went back to Heaven He sent His Holy Spirit to indwell all those who believe, making our hearts His throne and our bodies His temple (I Cor. 3:16; II Cor. 6:16).

May the Holy Spirit help us today to live in a conscious awareness of His Presence with us.  That way we’ll be lest apt to react like an abandoned orphan or practicing atheist and cry, “Oh me, what am I going to do?!?”  Instead, we’ll whisper, “Lord, are You there?” and He’ll reply “Yes, right here beside you” (Ps. 46:1).  Glory!!

By Tom Smith, Morning Manna Dated September 21, 2009

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